The international community agreed to limit global warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100 at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. That was seven years ago – and much progress has been made during these seven years. However, the efforts made to date are far from sufficient to achieve the 1.5-degree target and reverse the trend. On the contrary, without drastic reductions in CO2 emissions, the earth's temperature is expected to rise by up to three degrees. Crises such as the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine war continue to keep the world on tenterhooks, while climate change continues unabated. Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity is facing.
If global warming gains momentum, the impact will be dramatic, as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change keeps urgently describing to us: More extreme weather events, water shortages, food insecurity, likely social upheaval - but also the loss of biodiversity and entire ecosystems. Developing countries suffer the most from the consequences, although they have contributed the least to climate change and species loss. So the global community needs to take countermeasures quickly and decisively – in all areas of life and by addressing climate and biodiversity together.
In United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 13, the global community agreed to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. On behalf of the German Federal Government, KfW is supporting its partner countries around the world in the climate-friendly transformation of their social and economic systems. KfW is aligning all of its promotional activities with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
KfW Development Bank's commitments to climate- and environment-related projects are on a high level for many years and account for almost half of total commitments. In 2021 they reached more than EUR 2.7 billion. This is estimated to generate annual savings of well over 7.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents in the partner countries. Commitments from 2021 are directly supporting around 12.5 million people as they combat the impacts of climate change.
Measures for climate protection, climate change adaptation and climate resilience continue to be items at the top of KfW’s agenda despite the many new crises that have arisen. In addition to its efforts to support a "build back better" green recovery in its partner countries after the Corona pandemic, in which economic and climate goals are no longer in conflict with each other but both contribute to sustainable stability, it is actively working to raise awareness of the link between climate and biodiversity protection. Both limiting global warming and reversing the trend in species extinction can only be achieved with progress in the other area. Only if both aspects are taken into account can national economies position themselves for the future in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.